Here are ten tips for you, as a small business owner, to empower your employees.
Demonstrate with your words as well as your actions that you value and trust your employees. Show them that you trust them to do the right things at the right thing. Be willing to trust your team, and do not micro-manage them.
Appreciate and recognise
Appreciate your employees for the good work done by them. Recognise them in public, and reward them suitably. Never let your employees feel under-valued, under-compensated, or under-noticed. Ensure that each one of your employees is paid fairly, as per industry standards.
Learn to listen effectively when your employees wish to talk to you. Make the interaction a two-way process, rather than a one-sided passive hearing or a one-sided talking over the employees. Listen, really listen, to the feedback or complaints that your employees have to share with you. Ask the right questions to make them feel comfortable, and to help you understand what exactly is bothering them.
Help solve problems
A mere listening to the complaints of the employees is not sufficient. As the business owner, it is your duty to ensure that these complaints are resolved in the most efficient way possible. You should make the employees feel that their feedback has been accepted and incorporated. If it is not incorporated, do take the time to explain why to the employees.
Give regular feedback
You should provide feedback to your employees on a regular basis on the work done by them. Appreciate the positives, and suggest ways to improve on the negatives. Do not criticise unnecessarily, but provide feedback that is constructive, instead.
Provide your employees with all the information that they need to take decisions or do their jobs, on time. Do not keep them waiting indefinitely.
Delegate authority with responsibility
It is a very bad management practice to delegate work to staff without giving the necessary authority to perform the work freely and without hindrance. Ensure that this does not happen in your organisation. If you give your employees work, make sure that you also give them the power that they need to do their work efficiently.
Provide opportunities to your employees to learn new skills in the course of their work, which will help enrich their personalities and make their work personalities more rounded. Give your employees opportunities to grow within the organisation.
Communicate leadership vision
Communicate clearly your vision and mission for the business to your employees. Make them feel like they are a team contributing towards a higher, bigger, common goal.
Provide guidance and direction
Provide your employees with all the guidance that they need to go about their work efficiently. Direct them in a broad sense, and help them set goals and objectives for themselves.